Cando FM

Wed 11th July 2018 at 18.30 - 20.00

Cando FM is a radio station which broadcasts from Furness College, but they will soon have a new home.

CANDO FM - tuned in to the local community.
Our meeting this week (11th July 2018) was changed to the Michaelson House Hotel – the Golf Club expected a horde to want to watch the football (World Cup England against Croatia semi) on their big screen.
Peter had also rigged up a large TV for those wishing to keep updated after our meeting!
Our speaker this evening was Johnny Williams from CANDO FM. Also present were two very welcome visitors from Furness Peninsula, IPP John McGill and PP Val Robinson and a guest of mine Julie Kirkham.
Johnny, formerly a media Studies Tutor at Furness College has been involved with Cando FM from the beginning when it started as a media project at the college. He told us about their CANDO logo which used the same font as a type of condom and perhaps ironically, their first studio was in a room formerly used for a chlamydia prevention program!
Initially they had a limited broadcast facility but soon decided that they needed to go for a full broadcast licence – which they got from OFCOM, who are now keen to see local community radio grow. To a later question, Johnny told us that their transmitter is located on the Barrow Town hall clock tower and is limited to 25 watt. Currently their broadcast range is limited to Barrow Town but they have ambitions to increase their coverage as far as Ulverston, to encompass as much of the Furness Peninsula as they can. They may achieve this by a second relay station in Ulverston, or by increasing their power output at Barrow  (currently 17 watts well within their 25 watt limit). However if they did increase their power output they would also have to take some precautionary measures to prevent radiating a signal out towards the Isle of Man.
Whilst the College have been fully supportive of the project, they have now reached a stage of development where they need to break free of the College and establish themselves as an independent community radio station. Plans are well advanced for this, they are establishing a studio in the Cookes Building in Abbey Road, which also is home to several other media projects, Signal Film for one! Their studio is in full view of the public walking or driving past, emphasising their community credentials.
Schools work with CANDO FM and there are plans to involve the Police Cadets with some programmes. As in all organisation, the station needs a revenue stream besides its volunteers to survive. They have obtained some grant aid, some crowd funding but also hope to have a strong income stream from advertising. Because of their low cost base, they are able to offer at extremely competitive rates.  
Johnny was asked how they knew who was listening to them. He said that the professional organisations that collated listening figures charge £6k to do so, well beyond their means. He said that digital content was easy to arrive at audience figures but FM required some clever guess work. He was also asked about music content, daytime they will play popular music but in the evenings opt for specialist genres, jazz, classical etc.
After a host of questions, President Colin asked Brian Boyd to propose a vote of thanks which the members responded to enthusiastically.